Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Rhubarb almond cake

We have a giant rhubarb plant in our garden, so it was just a matter of time that I needed to try out a new recipe using rhubarb from the garden. Growing up, my mom often made rhubarb compote and baked rhubarb cake.  My memory of the cake is a bit cloudy, but I found a recipe that I modified a bit to bake rhubarb cake which is simply delicious.

Ingredients:
300 g rhubarb, cleaned and diced
150 g butter
3 eggs
175 g organic sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
200 g organic flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50 g almonds, finely chopped
100 g quark (see note below)
powdered sugar and sliced almonds for decoration

Preparation:
1. Clean the rhubarb and peel the tough skin. Cut the rhubarb stalks into cubes (approximately 2-3 cm in length).
2. Combine the butter, sugar, and eggs. Add the vanilla extract and add the salt as well as backing powder. Add the flour. Add the quark and the chopped almonds. Lastly, add the rhubarb pieces.
3. Pour the batter in a greased spring form. Bake in preheated oven at 360 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or until wooden stick inserted comes out clean). Once the cake is fully cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and sliced almonds.

Note: Quark is a dairy product that you may be able to find at Whole Foods. Alternatively, you can try to substitute quark with plain organic yogurt.

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Birthday cake does not need to have frosting =)

Rhubarb cake_1_small Rhubarb cake_2_small Rhubarb cake_3_small

 

 

 

 

Health benefits:
* Rhubarb stalks are naturally low in calories, while providing a lot of dietary fiber and anti-oxidants.
* The stalks are also rich in several B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
* Rhubarb stalks also provide good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K promotes bone formation and strengthening. Adequate vitamin K levels help limit neuronal damage in the brain.
* While I sometimes replace eggs with ground flax seed or egg substitute in recipes, eggs actually have great health benefits. They are rich in iron, vitamins B, A, and E, selenium, and zinc. In addition, they are a good source of protein. Therefore, eggs provide antiaxidant wualities that may help to protect against some forms of cancer. Futhermore, it is one of a few sources of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin for the nervous system, for vegetarians.

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Fresh Tomato and Asparagus Gnocchi

I love gnocchi, even the store-bought ones. This recipe uses fresh asparagus and tomatoes as well as gnocchi. How could one go wrong?! This recipe is very easy and fast to make. However, it could easily pass for a dish served in a fancy restaurant.

 

Ingredients (Makes 3 large servings)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 (16-oz.) package gnocchi
½ medium sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (basil olive oil)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped (7 frozen basil leaves)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30 minutes)
1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Fill a 3-qt. saucepan three-fourths full with salted water. Bring the water to a boil; add asparagus and gnocchi, and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Sauté onion in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, pepper, and asparagus mixture. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately.

Note: This dish stores well in an air-tight container and can easily be re-heated in the microwave.

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

 

Adapted from Yummly
http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Fresh-Tomato-and-Asparagus-Gnocchi-MyRecipes-262435

 

Healthful benefits:
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
* Asparagus is a good source of folate, fiber, vitamin C and E.